This week, the world's top golfers will compete on a golf course that 99 year-old Palm Harbor resident Larry Packard designed. The PGA Tour's Transitions Championship begins Thursday at Innisbrook. It will be held on the resort's Copperhead course, which is often ranked among the top in the country, and has a reputation for being challenging. A recent Golf World/Golf Digest survey of PGA pros ranked Copperhead ninth out of 52 courses that host PGA tournaments each year.
Packard is a golf course architect who has worked on more than 500 golf courses around the world. In the 1970s, he designed all four courses at Innisbrook and is especially proud of Copperhead. Packard lives at Innisbrook and will celebrate his 100th birthday there later this year.
We recently chatted with him at , a restaurant that bears his name in Innisbrook. Here's what he had to say-
1) What do you like best about designing golf courses?
"Being able to create a facility that many people can enjoy. Men, women, as well as children can enjoy it."
2) Do you golf?
"I did play until about two years ago. Golf is a very unique game. I've been in a room with 40 men. All thought they knew golf, none of them know what I know. I've been in it all my life, 60 years anyway."
3) What are you most proud of when it comes to the Copperhead course?
"I'm most proud of the fact that when they have this tournament. The best men and women golfers in the world, two-thirds of them can't make par in four days. You watch the scores. Two-thirds, and these are the best players, they can't break par in four days. That means something."
4) Do you have a favorite golfer?
"My wife. She's a New York girl"
5) Which is your favorite course?
"Copperhead, because it has the biggest tournament. I have my own tournament here you know, last year was the first year they had it."
6) How do you plan on celebrating your 100th birthday?
"Have a bourbon."